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Thread: Firearm purchase waiting period?

  1. #1

    Default Firearm purchase waiting period?

    I went to buy a rifle today and it was put on hold thanks to the background check.

    What is the waiting period for a firearm purchase?

    I have never had to wait before, more than 20 minutes or so, and thought it was instant check. The place I am purchasing from stated they hold it up to seven days waiting for a reply from the FBI and if they get no response they sell it to me anyway. They said it was placed on hold for identity confirmation. Eventhough I supplied my SS#, driver's license, state and city of birth, etc.

    I thought the max time they could hold it was 3 days, but would like to know what the law on this is.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Not sure about the laws where you live. In Florida with a CCW permit there is no wait for hand guns or long guns.

    Edit: Without a CCW permit it is a 3 day wait for hand guns and no waiting period for long guns.
    Last edited by crashdive123; 12-26-2009 at 09:31 PM.
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    Senior Member Camp10's Avatar
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    I had a friend go through this once also. With him, there was something of interest (whatever that means) on his application. This gives them a time frame to re-check the info you provided. If there is someone with a similar name, etc with a criminal record it may give a hold for the check.

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    Senior Member red lake's Avatar
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    Here in Canada when we want to buy a gun we can walk out of the store with it sameday. Registered and all.

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    Senior Member Camp10's Avatar
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    There is no waiting period here in Maine for either handgun or rifle/shotgun..unless there is something of question in the application. I've never had to wait but I do know the one guy who had to. I dont have a problem at all with a waiting period if it means that someone not allowed to own a gun cant get it. My friend was able to buy the gun a few days later when he was cleared.

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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    I know two guys, that have problems with background checks. For most people a back ground is instant approval. One of the two guys, has a very common name. (first, middle, and last) It normally takes a few hours, for his to clear. The other guy found out that there is another guy, with the same name as his, and born within two or three days of him, who has a long criminal history. It normally takes a few days, for his to clear.
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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red lake View Post
    Here in Canada when we want to buy a gun we can walk out of the store with it sameday. Registered and all.
    Here in the U.S., they try to make sure you're not a felon, before they let you walk out, with a gun. In most places, here, after that, it's no longer any of their business, as long as you don't break any laws with it.
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    Senior Member red lake's Avatar
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    We are pre-approved, like a mortgage. Once you have your PAL you are good to go, every time. If your status changes you may lose your PAL until such time as they see fit.

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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red lake View Post
    We are pre-approved, like a mortgage. Once you have your PAL you are good to go, every time. If your status changes you may lose your PAL until such time as they see fit.
    Here, if you have a concealed carry permit, you are "pre-approved", but if you don't, you can just walk in, fill out one page of info/questions, and they call it in. (To the FBI, I think.) Normally it's an instant approval. (As long as you are not a criminal.)
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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red lake View Post
    We are pre-approved, like a mortgage. Once you have your PAL you are good to go, every time. If your status changes you may lose your PAL until such time as they see fit.
    What really sucks, down here, is that some states have crazy gun laws, compared to the other states. In some states, you have to be checked out, and have a card to even buy ammo. Some states say that your gun should almost never be loaded, etc., etc.
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  11. #11

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    Well I'm not a criminal. At least not anymore! I do have some 90 day misdeameanors from long ago. I know they are not a problem though because I've bought plenty of guns since and went thru the check each time. I have no drug charges, felonies, domestic abuse, charges that could result in more than 1 year incarceration, mental illness, dishonorable discharge, I have not renounced my citizenship, etc, etc.

    I am somewhat against this policy, but do understand the need to check people out beforehand in this day and age. What I'm against is the fact that it's supposed to be an instant check thru NICS and in reality it isn't. It's up to a 3 day federal waiting period nationwide and even longer if the state or dealer you're purchasing from decides so. My dealer has decided 8 days is fair enough. Unless I get my gun in three days they most likely won't be my dealer anymore. I'll be checking with other dealers to see what their waiting period is.

    I guess the thing I don't understand is if this is all done via computer then unless there is a server down somewhere I don't see why there's a hold up. If I was able to purchase 5 years ago I should be able to purchase today. I provided picture ID and social security number.

    It just seems like it takes longer and longer each time I purchase. First couple a times it was instant, then a 20 minute to 3 day wait and now it's apparently a 3 to 8 day wait.

    Here in Michigan there is no state ordered waiting period. In other states the waiting period is up to two weeks or so it appears. Apparently each state can set waiting periods if they so choose.

    Other than having a CCW permit is there any other way to speed the process? I saw a spot on the form for a pre-approval pin #. What's that all about? Is that for the CCW holders?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dumb2kwit View Post
    What really sucks, down here, is that some states have crazy gun laws, compared to the other states. In some states, you have to be checked out, and have a card to even buy ammo. Some states say that your gun should almost never be loaded, etc., etc.
    That's the way it is in Illinois! 72 hours for a handgun & 24 hours for a long-gun. And yes it has to be during buisness hours & not to close to closing time. We don't have concealed carry as it keeps getting voted down. And you beter have your FOID card (Firearms Owner Identification Card.) with you to buy ammo or even hold a firearm at the Sporting Goods Counter...I HATE THIS STATE!!!!
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    If you think about it, there could be any number of legitimate reasons for the delay and none of them have anything to do with you. How many folks took Christmas money in today and bought a gun. Perhaps and larger than normal influx of requests, perhaps the server was down, perhaps the FBI folks are running short handed because of the holidays, perhaps they were busy reading posts on Wilderness-Survival.net. That's a pretty cool thing to do.

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    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
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    I've heard the waiting period for folks that buy firearms is "Hold on I'll be back with the money if the ole lady will give it to me". Some men wait years, a few lucky ones don't. It is always cash, no checks or credit cards and can be sold while the first "buyer" is begging for the cash.
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    I live in MI and bought a pistol this last June, I had to go to the sheriffs department for papers to buy it. I waited 20 mins. and was good to go.
    -Sam

  16. #16

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    That's true Rick, according to the FBI website they are only closed on Christmas and open for business 17 hours a day, 7 days a week. I picked the day after christmas to buy, doh! It just makes me worry is all.

    WV, I traded in my wife last year and am using the money I saved to buy this here rifle.

  17. #17

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    Sam, I guess in MI the state itself handles the handgun checks and NICS does the longarm checks.

    I'm thinking my best bet would be to apply for a CCW, then I could avoid all this or so it sounds.

    Does one have to purchase a handgun to have a CCW?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    Sam, I guess in MI the state itself handles the handgun checks and NICS does the longarm checks.

    I'm thinking my best bet would be to apply for a CCW, then I could avoid all this or so it sounds.

    Does one have to purchase a handgun to have a CCW?
    I am not sure I don't have a CCW permit. I have not put in for one.
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    Senior Member Camp10's Avatar
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    A CCW card doesnt speed the process up any in Maine. I know it is a pain, but be glad the waiting period it there! It is much better than the laws that were in the works when it was adopted. If you are worried about your info, it really does go away after the check has been approved. The supreme court ruled on this early in the Bush admin because the guy before him wanted to hold on to that info. Any card or waiting period now is because of the state you live in. That is, if there is always a 3 day, 24 hour etc. The 5 day wait is to give the ATF a chance to do the correct background check and only happens if there is some kind of a kick back with the info you gave them. If you are not a felon, you have nothing to worry about with the delay.

  20. #20
    Senior Member aflineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    I'm thinking my best bet would be to apply for a CCW, then I could avoid all this or so it sounds.
    That depends upon the State. Here we still have to pay for (and go through) the background check, even with a CCW. The State has figured that they can (and do) make much more money that way. I have had to wait a few days for things to clear also. Had one dealer tell me that if I did not pass the check in three days, he would give me back my money (less the background check fee) and NOT sell me the firearm. Said he could not afford to take the chance of a problem (even though the LAW says he can give it to me after a few days). I received my firearms a couple of hours later, but I won't buy anything from that dealer again.
    Anymore, I tend to buy/trade face-to-face and avoid the hassle.
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